How does Peter Medak gain the viewers sympathy for Derek Bentley in the film "Let him have it"
This is a story that follows the life of an epileptic boy called Derek Bentley. The story shows how quickly a normal boy's life can turn upside down. Derek arrives home from an approved school and doesn't step out of his doorstep for a whole year. Derek is later led by Christopher Craig and his make-believe gangsters to go around and cause trouble. This later results in crime and Bentley is given the death penalty in court for
'apparently' being party to a murder but it was a huge injustice. After the trial Peter Medak, the producer tries to make the audience feel sympathetic towards
Derek and his life in prison and his family waiting for his execution. Derek's sister Iris still battles on for justice and recently Bentley was pardoned. As the film is based on a true story, Medak might have been affected by the injustice and one day maybe thought to make this film in Derek's name. Derek's childhood is the most sympathetic part of the film,
this is because it shows how he struggled with the trauma of having epilepsy throughout his life. In 1941 Derek's home is bombed and he is buried in the rubble from the the explosion he begins to throw a fit. Derek is not a leader he is led by others. Medak shows his lack of leadership skills in the part where Derek follows his friends to vandalise a hut. Medak also expresses Derek's lack of confidence by showing his friends running away from being caught and Derek being the only one left standing there. Another example of his vulnerability is when he has a fit when he is caught in the hut scene. The Head teacher at the reform school says that Derek is not suitable to be there and that he is easily led by other pupils. The head also mentions that Derek's convulsions have been getting worse and advises him to leave early because of his vulnerability. When we see Derek at the top of the stairs listening to his Dad and the Head it portrays his lonely side and makes him seem more childish which provokes sympathy amongst the audience.